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Josephus: Henry Leeming: Josephus' Jewish War and Its Slavonic Version: A Synoptic Comparison (2003) "This volume presents in English translation the Slavonic version of Josephus Flavius' "Jewish War, long inaccessible to Anglophone readers, according to N.A. Materskej's scholarly edition, together with his erudite and wide-ranging study of literary, historical and philological aspects of the work, a textological apparatus and commentary. The synoptic layout of the Slavonic and Greek versions in parallel columns enables the reader to compare their content in detail. It will be seen that the divergences are far more extensive than those indicated hitherto."

Josephus Pleads Still


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On Tisha Be'AV

Die Zerstörung des Tempels von Jerusalem - Francesco Hayez (1867)

Historical Jewish Sources
Apocalyptic Genre: "Turn of Era" Lit. Exploring Eschatological Salvation

Torah - Or "TaNaKh", an acronym denoting these three sections:
    -  Torah (Teaching)
    -  Nevi’im (Prophets) -  Former (Deuteronomic Code); Latter (Literary)
     - Ketuvim (Writings) Canonical Collection From Post-Prophetic Age
Talmud - Documents that Comment and Expand Upon Mishnah
      - Mishnah 1st-2nd Century Rabbinic Study Book of Laws/Values
      - Gamara (Agadah - Tales and Morals ; Halacha - Code of Jewish Law)
          - Babylonian ("Bavli") Gemara (200-600)
          - Palestinian ("Yerushalmi") Gemara (200-500)

Midrash Exegetical Interpretation of the Torah's Text
      - Halakhah - Interpreting Law and Religious Practice
      - Aggadah - Biblical Narrative ; Ethics, Theology, Homily (200-1000)
Targums - Translations of the Bible into Jewish Aramaic
Dead Sea Scrolls - Collection of Materials Found in Judean Desert
Josephus - One of World's All-Time Greatest Non-Biblical Historians
Apocalyptic Genre - "Turn of Era" Lit. Exploring Eschatological Salvation
Liturgical Texts - Routine Prayers Said Spontaneously
Reference Works - Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Concordances

Jewish Apocalyptic Genre:
"Apocalypse of Baruch"

"But also the heavens at that time were shaken from their place"

Contained in the 9th century homiletic collection,
 the Pesikta Rabbati (PesR 26)


"a genre of revelatory literature with a narrative framework, in which a revelation is mediated by an otherworldly being to a human recipient, disclosing a transcendent reality which is both temporal, insofar as it envisages eschatological salvation, and spatial insofar as it involves another, supernatural world."  Renan

See Also:
Dead Sea Scrolls Archive | Jewish Sources | Testament of Moses | Pseudepigrapha Online

Note: The literary genre called 'apocalyptic' is collected and organized here in such a way as to show the progression of eschatological thought in the late Second Temple period.  One goal will be to show the writers' expectations of an imminent end, and how the ultimate expectation of a 'final end of the world' in the events surrounding the great eschatological event (the conquering of the Gentiles to them, the fall of Jerusalem and its temple to us) was a misapprehension of the nature of fulfillment found in the advent of Jesus Christ - who was denied as the Way of Victory.   Another goal will be to show how the demise of apocalyptic literature following the final end of the Jewish state lends support to the Preterist idea of prophetic fulfillment associated with that desolation.  Christian works written in the first generation following AD70 -- most of which display the sense of vindication felt as a result of the fall of Jerusalem -- will be presented as the capstone of the apocalyptic genre.

"Apocalypse of Baruch"
The Book Of The Apocalypse Of Baruch The Son Of Neriah

I Baruch | Second Baruch | Zecharias, son of Baruchias | GOOGLE

"A pseudepigraphal work (not in any canon of scripture), whose primary theme is whether or not God's relationship with man is just. The book is also called The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch because it was preserved only in the 6th-century Syriac Vulgate. It was originally composed in Hebrew and ascribed to Baruch, a popular legendary figure among Hellenistic Jews"

The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Idea of Redemption in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch

Rivka Nir


"The Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch is a pseudepigraphic apocalyptic work ascribed to Baruch, son of Neriah and the scribe of Jeremiah.  Its overt content concerning the last days of the First Temple period disguises a description of the fall of the Second Temple in 70 C.E.  Contrary to the general scholarly view, this book attempts to show that the internal structure and central ideas of 2 Baruch must be understood in a Christian context.  This theological identity is reflected mainly in traditions which describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the three apocalyptic visions which depict the coming of the Messiah and the eschatological redemption.  These two main themes, which stood at the very core of the dispute between Judaism and Christianity and clearly reflect the basic differences in the outlooks of the two faiths, can be criteria to uncover the theological identity of the work.  The author's conclusion sheds light on the Christian character of other pseudepigraphic and apocalyptic books."

  • Extant only in Syriac language, an Aramaic dialect widely used in the Eastern Christian Church

  • Incorporates three apocalyptic visions describing the end of the world, the founding of the new world, and the coming of the Messiah

  • Published in the 9th volume of the Paris Polyglot in 1645 and in Walton's Polyglot in 1657

  • "The Ambrosian MS includes the Old Testament, 4 Ezra, Book 6 of Josephus' Jewish War, and the Apocalypse of Baruch, three works related to the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE."  - Rivka Nir


"But also the heavens at that time were shaken from their place"


(On The Heavenly Temple)
"4:1 And the Lord said unto me:

        'This city shall be delivered up for a time,
        And the people shall be chastened during a time,
And the world will not be given over to oblivion.

2  Dost you think that this is that city of which I said: "On the palms of My hands have I graven you"? 3 This building now built in your midst is not that which is revealed with Me, that which prepared beforehand here from the time when I took counsel to make Paradise, and showed Adam before he sinned, but when he transgressed the commandment it was removed from him, as also Paradise. 4 And after these things I showed it to My servant Abraham by night among the portions of the victims. 5 And again also I showed it to Moses on Mount Sinai when I showed to the likeness of the tabernacle and all its vessels. 6 And now, behold, it is preserved with Me, as Paradise. 7 Go, therefore, and do as I command you." (4:1-7)

(On The Fall of the Temple)
8:1 "Now the angels did as he had commanded them, and when they had broken up the corners of the walls, a voice was heard from the interior of the temple, after the wall had fall saying:

2       'Enter, you enemies,
And come, you adversaries;
For he who kept the house has forsaken (it).'

3       And I, Baruch, departed. 4 And it came to pass after these things that the army of the Chaldees entered and seized the house, and all that was around it." (8:1-5)

"Therefore I now took away Zion to visit the world in its own time more speedily." (20:2)

"You, however, if you prepare your minds to sow into them the fruits of the law, he shall protect you in the time in which the Might One shall shake the entire creation.  For after after a short time, the building of Zion will be shaken in order that it will be rebuilt.  That building will not remain; but it will again be be uprooted after some time and will remain desolate for a time.  And after that it is necessary that it will be renewed in glory and that it will be perfected into eternity.  We should not, therefore, be so sad regarding the evil which has come now, but much more distressed regarding that which is in the future.  For greater than the two evils will be the trial when the Mighty One will renew his creation." (2 Bar. 32:1-6)


P. Bogaert
"The author lived in the land of Israel.  The importance of the theological mesage that he brings to the Diaspora communities, and the very great Jewish Orthodoxy of that message enable us to see him as one of the most prominent personalities in post-70 Palestinian Judaism" (Apocalypse, 1:334)

Augustin Calmet (1672-1757)
"the Syrians have quite a lengthy epistle bearing the name Baruch, but the author of this epistle speaks of the angels in such a way as to make one suspect that he is a Christian"

R.H. Charles
"Written at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 ad, it details Baruch's conversations directly with God in a series of visions. The fall of Jerusalem is given as part of a larger end-of-the-world scenario. Baruch then receives prophecy: periods of light and darkness shall come, symbolized by rains bright and black, corresponding to alternating times when humanity lives in peace and harmony, then dark periods when evil reigns. Of particular note is the apocalypse when the Messiah appears again on earth. This alternate tale of the apocalypse inspires hope—evil is punished, condemned to hell and cast off the earth, while those "left behind" are actually the righteous who will enjoy, literally, heaven on earth. Obviously a differing view from the currently in-vogue idea of "rapture"

"From Baruch. It is prophesied that the God of the Prophets, having laid down the Complete Way of Knowledge by the Mosaic Law to the Jews, will some Day afterwards be seen on Earth, and mingle among Men. [Passage quoted, Baruch iii. 29-37.] I NEED add nothing to these inspired words, which so (295) clearly support my argument. " (6-19, Demonstration)

Charles Hill
"First, critics of chiliasm point out that Christian chiliasts got their chiliasm not so much from the apostles as from non-Christian Jewish sources.6 Irenaeus cites a tradition from a book written by Papias of Hierapolis about the millennial kingdom.7 The tradition purports to reproduce Jesus' teaching on the kingdom as related through the Apostle John to those who remembered the latter's teaching. It is the famous report about each grapevine in the kingdom having ten thousand branches, each branch ten thousand twigs, each twig ten thousand shoots, each shoot ten thousand clusters, and each cluster ten thousand grapes, etc., with talking grapes, each one anxious that the saints would bless the Lord through it.8 As it turns out, this account seems to be a development of a tradition recorded in the Jewish apocalypse 2 Baruch in its account of the Messiah's earthly kingdom (Ch. 29)." (Why Early Church Rejected Chiliasm)

Jerome Biblical Commentary
"Some older exegetes tended to see in Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar pseudonyms for Vespasian and Titus, and they regarded the destruction of Jerusalem described in 1:2 as the destruction of AD 70. On this basis, they variously dated Bar sometime after that date." (pp. 614-615)

Jewish Encyclopedia
""Kneucker, Marshall, and several other recent critics, however, place its composition after the capture of Jerusalem by Titus, holding that the "strange nation" of iv. 3 ("give not thine honor . . . to a strange nation") refers to the Christians, and relates to a time when the antagonism between Judaism and Christianity had become pronounced." (Baruch)

"In ii. 26 the Temple is said to be in ruins—a statement which accords with two periods only, those of the Chaldean and the Roman conquests. As the former period is out of the question, certain scholars, such as Kneucker, for example, assign this part of the book to a time later than the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus." (Baruch)

A.F.J. Klijn
The work appears to have been written after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, like 4 Ezra, an apocalypse with which it has a number of points in common, and the Paraleipomena Jeremiou in which Baruch also is an important figure. The work tries to give an answer to the burning question why God allowed his temple to be destroyed. The answer is that God himself sent his angels to destroy his sanctuary and that the time of this tribulation will be short. In other words, the destruction of the temple is God's final act before the day of judgment on which the enemies of Israel will be punished and God's people will be vindicated." (Outside the Old Testament, p. 194)

James Moffatt
"The details of the resurrection had been discussed by rabbinical authorities like Hillel and Shammai.  But the kind of body or bodily form given to the saints occupies a contemporary prophet like the writer of the Apocalypse of Baruch (xlix.-1.).  "In what shape will those live who live in Thy day?  Will they resume this present form?"  The answer is, "The earth shall make no change in their form, but as it has received so shall it restore them"

41  Probably, too, the remark about one star differing from another in glory is an echo not only of the apocalyptic idea that the stars were angelic beings, but also of his belief in the varying nature of recompense for the shining spirits of the faithful (iii. 8), whose radiance, as again the Baruch apocalypse has it (li. 3, 9 f.), varies like that of the stars in the ageless, upper world (Dan. xii.3)." (First Corinthians)

Rivka Nir (2003)
"The Ambrosian MS includes the Old Testament, 4 Ezra, Book 6 of Josephus' Jewish War, and the Apocalypse of Baruch, three works related to the conquest of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE.  The number of the manuscript is Codex Ambrosianus 13.21 inf (folio 257a-265b)." (The Destruction of Jerusalem and the Idea of Redemption in the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch)

Dr. Randall Otto
"Are Preterists Guilty of Heresy on the Final Judgment of Humanity? It was during the Tannaitic period, commencing with the Christian era and culminating in the death of Patriarch Judah in the early third century, that the body of traditional Jewish law (Mishnah) was redacted and promulgated under his authority. [75] The messianic expectation of this period was threefold, consisting of this world (olam hazzeh), the days of the messiah, and the future world (olam habba). This traditional Jewish perspective was altered, however, by the apocalypticism stemming from the latter second century B.C. This led to some fluidity in Jewish eschatological hopes for the occurrence of the resurrection. The books of Daniel and Enoch seem to place the resurrection at the beginning of the messianic kingdom, while the apocalypses of Baruch (30:1-4) and 4 Ezra (7:26-33) place it at the end and conceive it as the event which serves as a transition from the days of the messiah to the future world (olam habba). The question posed in 4 Ezra 6:7, "what will be the dividing of the times? Or when will the end of the first age and the beginning of the age that follows?" was commonly asked. This is also evinced in the disciples' question to Jesus at the beginning of the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24:3; Mark 13:3-4; Luke 21:7), which Sproul rightly admits was fulfilled in Christ's parousia at the destruction of Jerusalem, an event which culminated the messianic age and ushered in the kingdom/church in all its fulness. This coming is to bring judgment upon the generation that crucified Jesus, as Jesus himself predicts: "so that upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation" (Matt 23:35-36), a summary of all the innocent blood of God's faithful shed from the beginning of the OT canon to its conclusion, 2 Chronicles (wherein Zechariah, son of Jehoida, is murdered in 24:20-22) being the last book in the Hebrew Bible."

While this interim period of the messianic age was placed at four hundred years in 4 Ezra 7:28 and Apocalypse of Baruch 29-30, "older traditions concerning the days of the Messiah fix a very short interval for the interim period, namely, forty years (R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus; Bar. In Sanh. 99a; R. Aqiba: Midr. The. On Ps. 90:15; Tanch. Eqeb 7b, Pes. Rabb. 4a)."  (The Question of Heresy)

Stanley Paher
Second Baruch, composed about the same time as Fourth Ezra, comments upon both Rome and Jerusalem in Chapter 11: 1: "Moreover, I, Baruch, say this against thee, Babylon: If thou hadst prospered, and Zion had dwelt in her glory. Yet the grief to us had been great, that thou shouldst be equal to Zion." The grief is in part because the sons of the "desolate mother [Jerusalem]" had been led into captivity (10:16). Chapter 32:2-4 presupposed two destructions of Zion, necessitating that the author wrote after 70 A.D. " (A.D.70 Doctrine)

Stephen Pegler
"How Should We Understand Jesus’ Prophecies? If we reject the preterist view that Jesus came in A.D. 70, how can we then understand Jesus’ prophecies in the Olivet Discourse? One view is that we understand that Jesus’ teachings inaugurated eschatology. Rather than "realized eschatology", we should understand an "inaugurated eschatology".118 Jesus’ words about the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, even if symbolically understood, tie together Jesus’ return, the final judgment, the gathering of all peoples, and the general resurrection.119 It is hard to understand how these events could have occurred already. The Jews of Jesus’ day did not expect these events to only affect them and their system of sacrifice and belief, but rather they expected that Israel would be vindicated before the world and the entire world would be involved in these events.

A more sophisticated view is to examine Jesus’ statements within the strain of apocalyptic thought of his time. Although this literature lacks a standard approach to the great tribulation, it is sometimes seen as both including present sufferings, and the future.120 First Enoch, written sometime around the time of the Maccabees, divides history into 10 periods. The author and his contemporaries were in the seventh period. This was a period characterized by great wickedness and tribulation for the righteous. Soon, however, the seventh week would end and the situation for the righteous would improve. Syriac Baruch (written about A.D. 100) presents messianic woes as both future and imminent. Although the present time is full of woe, more difficult times are yet ahead, but the righteous would be protected.121 Yet other literature (Jubilees) describes the great tribulation as past or relates the sufferings of the righteous" (Answering Preterism)

Ernest Renan
the true successors of the fathers soon came to be "suspects" and heretics. Hence, as we often have occasion to insist, the favourite scriptures of the Ebionite and millenarian Judeo-Christianity - "Enoch", "Baruch," "Assumption of Moses," "Ascension of Isaiah," the fourth Esdras, the "Shepherd of Hernias," the "Epistle of Barnabas" - were better preserved in Latin or Oriental versions than in the Greek text. Hence, too, the more or less complete loss of the Greek text of Papias and Irenaeus. The "orthodox" Greek Church has always shown itself extremely intolerant of such books, and has systematically suppressed them." (Antichrist)

J.C. Robertson
"24:8 {The beginning of travail} (arce odinwn). The word means birth-pangs and the Jews used the very phrase for the sufferings of the Messiah which were to come before the coming of the Messiah (Book of Jubilees, 23:18; Apoc. of Baruch 27-29). But the word occurs with no idea of birth as the pains of death (#Ps 18:5; Ac 2:24). These woes, says Jesus, are not a proof of the end, but of the beginning. " (Matthew 24)

H.J. Schoeps
"In this transitional epoch in which Paul and his churches are living-we are now accustomed to call these decades of his activity the 'apostolic age'-the olam hazzeh and the olam habba are already intermingled, thus indicating that the Messianic age of salvation has dawned. This mingling of the two ages constitutes the distinctive eschatological standpoint of Pauline theology. Thus it becomes clear that Paul could only link up with that form of eschatology which transferred the resurrection of the dead to the end of the Messianic age (cf. Baruch ch. 20-30; 40:3; IV Ezra 7:26-44). The Messianic age itself, the age of the apostle, then becomes an interim stage, a transition to the olam habba. [76]

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